Story Credit: INDYCAR PR
Photo Credit: INDYCAR Photo
INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 27, 2020) – Five-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon will have the rare opportunity to win two prestigious international endurance races in the same week when he competes this weekend in Australia’s famed Bathurst 12 Hour sports car race on the heels of winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona in record-setting fashion.
On Sunday, Dixon became just the 15th driver in Rolex 24 history to claim three overall victories at Daytona International Speedway. Only six drivers have won more.
Dixon, who drives the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, previously claimed Rolex 24 overall victories in 2006 and ’15, and he was a class champion in ’18. All of those wins came with Chip Ganassi’s team, which did not field an entry this year.
Dixon won this Rolex 24 in Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R., co-driving with seven-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES race winner Ryan Briscoe, Renger van der Zande and Kamui Kobayashi. The overall win was the third in four years for Wayne Taylor’s team.
Dixon and his teammates overcame a mid-race pit road penalty to set the Rolex 24 record for the most laps completed in 24 hours (833), breaking the mark of 808 set in 2018.
“For me, the biggest part of the story was how we all came to be part of the team,” Dixon said after his first race with Wayne Taylor Racing. “Being part of the reigning race-winning team is probably the hardest thing you can do, because you are trying to repeat. You have that in the back of your mind the whole time.
“We had times during the race with adversity, but the team was able to rebound with strategy and the driver lineup just worked through it in a calm manner, which is hard to do. I’ve been a part of many 24-hour races in my career, but to come back from the many deficits we had in this race showed the absolute commitment from the team. I’m really proud to be part of the team, and I have to thank Chip (Ganassi) for letting me join Wayne (Taylor), Max (Angelelli) and everyone at Konica Minolta.
“We’re winners, that’s all that counts.”
Dixon did not have much time to savor the Rolex 24 victory as he headed to Australia to see if he could pull off the endurance double in the same week.
In Australia, Dixon will co-drive the No. 76 Aston Martin of R-Motorsport with Jake Dennis and Rick Kelly. The race will begin Saturday at 1:45 p.m. ET.
Dixon wasn’t the only NTT INDYCAR SERIES competitor celebrating Sunday in Daytona Beach, Florida. Ben Hanley and the DragonSpeed team won the LMP2 class title, Hanley’s first win in the event. The team won last year’s Rolex 24 class title, too, and DragonSpeed will have Hanley in its No. 81 10Star Chevrolet entry for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 15.
Also driving for DragonSpeed was Harrison Newey, whose father, Adrian, designed Indy cars that won series championships and Indianapolis 500s in the 1980s.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing also won a Rolex 24 title for the second consecutive year. This time, the GT Le Mans victory for BMW Team RLL went to the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE rather than the No. 25 entry which included Colton Herta, who drives the No. 88 Honda entry for Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.
“Whoever thought we were just lucky to win last year were shown otherwise (Sunday),” team co-owner Bobby Rahal said. “That was a battle for 24 hours. The drivers did a fantastic job, and the same goes for the crew. We did not make any mistakes.”
Prior to the season opener, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will be on track Feb. 11-12 with an open test at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. All 17 races will air on NBC and the NBC Sports Network.